Monday, 29 November 2010

The Observer's Book of Weather

With more snow forecast for Wednesday, the following is an extract from “The Observer’s Book of Weather’ by Mr Lester F.R Met. Soc. Published in 1955.

“In the British Isles snow is more frequent at the latter part of winter and early spring, and this is because there is a greater tendency for easterly winds from the Contingent to bring in the coldest weather around February and March.

Severe snow-storms can often be very local. We have had examples in southern England, with blizzards depositing a foot or more in snow in, say, one part of Kent, and places a few miles away without any snow at all. The explanation for this is that the heaviest falls occur along the continental side of a 'warm front', which in this country, of course, is the southeastern side. The snow rapidly decreases in amount on the opposite side of the front.

We often hear it said that it is 'too cold for snow'. Actually, it can never be too cold to snow, but when the temperature falls low in the British Isles it is generally during an anticyclone, or fine weather spell, and with the oncoming depression, the temperature rises…..

….Although snow is associated with Christmas in the northern hemisphere and is a regular feature of Christmas cards and stories, weather statistics prove that snow rarely falls in Christmas week. The Greenwich records show that, over a period of 83 years, snow has fallen on Christmas Day on only six occasions, and on Boxing Day on ten occasions. Only twice has it snowed on Christmas Eve. These figures apply to southern England only, but even in the Midlands and north of England it is more usual to have a 'green' than a 'white' Christmas.”


Prometheuswrites said...

The cause of the current cold air and snow is an area of high pressure over Scandanavia and an area of low pressure to the North of the Black sea, that is dragging cold air over us from the baltic and northern Russia.

However what may be causing this unusual situation (for this time of year) is a large shift in the higher level jet stream. This shift seems to be following a sinusoidal oscillating pattern, and is probably part of the same ocscilliatorary system that brought the flooding to Pakistan earlier in the year.

Conspiracy theorists are suggesting that the HAARP transmitter in Alaska may be responsible.

Other less controversial possibilities surely would include the NASA weather report published this week showing that average global temperatues were on a joint high with 1998 (I think), and this at a time when the el nino pacific current has switched off and the el nina current has come back on, a time when the expectations are for a lower average global temperature.

So it may be that an overall heating of the atmosphere is causing large scale heat gradient vortexs and global scale oscillations to absorb the extra thermal energy.

I've observed similar effects in the thermal currents in a large saucepan on my stove, even without stirring the water with my haarp, - sorry, - I meant wooden spoon.

Other recent reports are showing a large increase in atmospheric methane with half of the increase accounted for by a thawing of the perma-frost and the other half from domesticated livestock.

With solar activity increasing at this stage of the solar cycle I suspect that these current unusual weather patterns may be with us in one form or another for a little while yet.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I can't say I'm confident about the scientific robustness of many of those claims. Probably best not to apply for a job with the IPCC just yet...

Prometheuswrites said...

Re: "I can't say I'm confident about the scientific robustness of many of those claims".

I can personally assure you of empirical validity regarding the existential status of my saucepan. :)